Woburn Abbey Today

Your Guide to Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. There are 22 rooms that you can experience, which house one of the most significant private art collections in the world.

As you explore the many individual rooms of Woburn Abbey, you will also discover 18th Century French and English furniture, magnificent silver and gold collections, in the underground vaults, and a marvellous range of porcelain and many privately collected items treasured by generations of the Russell family.

These captivating rooms and fascinating antiques show a personal side to a public family that has been instrumental in many significant periods of English history.  


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford

400 years of history

The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620's. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today. 

> Our Family Tree


Image for Woburn Abbey Today One of our views of Venice by Canaletto

Over 250 works of art

View one of the most outstanding collections of art works on public display. These include:

  • The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
  • The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
  • Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone

> Art and the Collection


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The Grotto

22 Rooms To Discover

The splendid rooms include:

  • The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
  • The State Apartments with original 18th century architecture
  • The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
  • Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
  • The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper

> Must See Treasures


Image for Woburn Abbey Today Woburn Abbey is an example of Palladian architecture

At The Heart of an English Palladian Home

The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers. 

> Our Timeline


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Events & Exhibitions

Image for Come and Grow: Herbaceous Borders and Turf

Come and Grow: Herbaceous Borders and Turf

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Come along and pick up useful hints and tips from the Woburn Abbey Gardeners as they tackle seasonal gardening tasks.
Image for Woburn Abbey Venison for Sale

Woburn Abbey Venison for Sale

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From November 2014 until February 2015 Woburn Abbey are offering for the first time the opportunity for you to buy venison of the highest quality directly from Woburn Abbey. The deer roam freely over 3,000 acres of mixed traditional park land, enjoying a stress-free life and are primarily grass-fed.
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Midas Antiques Fair

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With an array of items for sale there is something for everyone at the Midas Antiques Fair this November.
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Luminaries Woburnensis

Illuminating the Abbey Gardens after dark, an evening of enchantment and adventure featuring light, fire and ice.
Image for Come and Grow: Pruning Fruit Trees and Double Digging

Come and Grow: Pruning Fruit Trees and Double Digging

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Woburn Abbey Gardeners are on hand to discuss and demonstrate gardening skills at this month's Come and Grow.
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A Touch of West End

The Sculpture Gallery is delighted to welcome back A Touch of West End this December for an exclusive evening of musical entertainment and fine dining.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2015

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Whether you are a gardening expert, handy with a trowel or never potted a plant before, all are welcome at ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’, back for its sixth year in 2015.